Who Do I Ask for Help with My Personal Statement?
Writing the personal statement for your UCAS application may seem like a stressful and lonely time, but it doesn’t need to be! Don’t try to suffer in silence and instead ask for help when and as you need it. Here at University Compare, we have a number of ways to help you write your personal statement and how to submit your personal statement.
Problems that can occur when writing your statement
During the writing process of a personal statement, there may be some issues that creep up, and it can be easy to let them take over! However, if you understand what problems that might appear you can work through them in no time.
This can happen a lot when you have a blank page staring back at you. The pressure of having to create a piece of writing can build up to the point where you either can’t start or find that you can’t write more.
To address the issue successfully change your mindset about the task set in front of you. You don’t need to look at it as a whole piece, or a full statement. You’ll need a snappy intro, if you’re struggling, look for some intro examples of personal statements, and see if these are useful for your personal statement, tackle different points from your plan, and write a paragraph at a time. Also, you don’t even have to start by writing the introduction – you can do that later – begin writing the paragraph or bullet point that you wish to expand on first. After you have a few paragraphs, you then can ensure that it is taking on a good form and structure. If you find yourself struggling, then look for some personal statement tips and see if there is anything in there that can benefit you.
Not having enough to write about
This issue can happen to the best of students, where they feel that they don’t have enough information to write a good statement. Every student will have lots of relevant information to talk about during their personal statement. Individuals don’t have to have extracurricular activities or extreme hobbies to make up their paragraphs. You will find writing about the areas that mean most to you, whether that is a particular piece of coursework or project you completed for your A Levels, will be the easiest to talk about. You can check out Personal Statement examples and grab some ideas for content from then, just be careful not to copy!
Writing under the limit
Students may feel that they don’t have enough to talk about or many points to expand on and find that they are under the line or character limit. This isn’t necessarily a bad point, as quality beats quantity within the personal statement scenario. However, if it is severely under the word limit, it may raise questions to the admission tutors. If this does happen then you can seek help and ask people around you to read it. They can then offer constructive feedback for you to work on.
If you find that you are struggling to find things to write about, ask your friends and family to list your five best attributes. You could discuss the best parts of your personality and how they have helped you be successful during your studies. Or you can speak to your teachers and ask them to list your best work you have submitted and why it did so well. Students can use these to create inspiration if they are stuck for ideas. Our Personal Statement Editor has a word count, in case you want to make sure that you’re writing enough for your personal statement.
Writing over the word limit
Found at the other end of the scale is where individuals have written way over the word limit. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it can be tough to trim down work, especially when you are so happy with what you have written. When you have overwritten, you can show a copy of your personal statement to your careers advisers and tutor and ask them where you can cut things out. After this, you can then trim down the small parts yourself.
One way to cut words out is to look back over your work to find where you can delete words that say the same thing. For example, using phrases such as ‘this hobby can show’ and ‘Also, I think it has’ can instead be written as ‘This shows’ and ‘It has’, these are some of the many things not to include in a personal statement. Be assertive with your writing, and it will free up space.
Where to find help?
There are many places to find someone to help you with your personal statement issues. Your sixth form or further education college will have several people that can help you.
These members of staff, who tend to head the UCAS application campaign throughout the school or college are there to help you! They will know a lot about the UCAS application, the personal statement and what universities look for when accepting students. Their vast extent of knowledge will only prove to be helpful for an array of issues.
Your tutor, who should be your first port of call, is there to help you with any general and specific problems during your time studying A Levels or BTECs, etc. It may also be your form tutor, depending on your school or college. The tutor’s role is to aid you throughout this process and to remind you of deadlines and sections that you need to complete. If you have trouble try to speak to them, or a careers advisor first.
Individual teachers or lecturers
If you are having a hard time, you can also speak to your individual course teachers. Your teachers would have taught you for at least one or two years and will know you extremely well. They will also know your strengths and weaknesses, especially in the related subjects. The information that you can get from talking to them will be very helpful. It may dissolve issues surrounding what to write about or what strengths you may have within a specific related subject.
Even though your mum or dad may be biased, but they can also provide decent content that you can mention throughout your personal statement. Don’t worry though, plenty of people don’t know who to ask for help with a personal statement. They may not know of your academic abilities, but they will most have likely been involved with your extracurricular activities or hobbies. They will know about other areas that can be relevant to your application but aren’t based around grades.
Friends and school peers
Mates and best friends will always have really good things to say about you. Not only will most of them know you better than you know yourself, but they can provide a different perspective to your best assets that you wouldn’t have seen before! They can also offer constructive feedback on your personal statement drafts and offer friendly support when you are stuck during the writing process!